Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post by Maytag. All opinions are 100% my own.
Seven years ago, we only had Will and we were feeling like this place was HUGE. We had extra rooms and extra space and we didn’t need to tweak a whole lot for function because we were like this small fish in a big tank. Well….now we have grown into our big tank and we are realizing what we need (ahem…playroom!) and what is just not working for us (ahem…small pantry).
So it makes me SUPER happy to announce that we are giving two of our most used spaces a makeover! These two rooms were ‘finished’ years ago but in reality, they both needed some help because they are no longer meeting the needs of this family of SEVEN. We have grown and we need them to grow with us. I hope you follow along as we jump into a big makeover of our kitchen and laundry room….both areas that EVERY family needs to work hard for them. I am here today to give you a bird’s eye view of what we are planning on doing. I’d love any tips you have when it comes to making your spaces accommodate big families.
First up is our laundry room….here is a VERY before photo from when we moved in….
When we first moved in, our laundry room was drab and not working for us. We took FOREVER to give it a proper makeover but we quickly realized that the choices we made probably needed to be tweaked. We loved the way it looked….but like I said before….we need this space to work hard…not just look pretty.
In hindsight, we realized that this room was acting kinda like a mudroom…the floor constantly had dirty baseball pants and stinky socks laying on it. The rug we had was a wool plush runner that is beautiful but I was so angry whenever it got dirty. It didn’t clean up easily and I think it would be so much smarter to put a more functional runner in here.
The other thing that was failing us was our dryer and washer. They are about ten years old and we have worked them into the ground. Jeremy has fixed that dryer four times already. Remember the makeshift clothes line that I put up on our deck when we had to wait two weeks for the replacement part? Yeah. I don’t think I could go through that again.
And the other thing is that we need more hooks. I know this may seem silly but since we don’t have a spot for hanging bathing suits, they just get hung up EVERYWHERE. I think that the big ombre wall isn’t tickling my fancy anymore so I think we could repaint it and do a wall of hooks there. It would boost our functionality of a small space.
Of course I would want to add a little flair into the room….but really we need a new washer and dryer set (we can always retire the old ones to the basement for guests) and, as a mom, I love the reputation of Maytag. Everyone says that they are solid, hardworking and dependable….exactly what I need in my life. I don’t need anything too fancy….or that my children can break by looking at it. I need laundry appliances that can handle our 2-3 loads each and every day.
After seeing a Consumer Reports review with over 300 positive ratings, I decided on the Maytag® front load washer and I cannot wait to get it installed. It has a bunch of features that are way more functional for us….like it has an Optimal Dose Dispenser and a FreshHold® option! That means I could pop in a small load before bed and when I wake up, it is ready. #gamechanger So that is kinda what we are looking for in that space.
I put together this moodboard so you can kinda see the direction we are headed for our new laundry room.
The other space that we are looking to tweak is our kitchen. I know what you are thinking….But Katie, your kitchen is beautiful! And it really is. In photos.
But in reality, it has its flaws. It doesn’t fully function. It is a nice big space that doesn’t WORK. And by gosh darn, I need this space to be like the alpaca of kitchens. I have no idea if an alpaca is hardworking….but in my head it is because all the Christmas ornaments show them carrying something. Let me list out the problems we got going on as you look as this picture of what our kitchen looked like when we moved in…
First the pantry is WAY too small. I have five kids that are on the cusp of their next growth spurt and I am struggling with having a tiny pantry. Storage space is just ridiculously needed. So we want to tear out the existing pantry and build a wall of cabinets for pantry storage.
Second, the desk is a complete waste of space. It collects clutter. It holds trash and old cell phone chargers. And it has one drawer with play doh. But other than that, we have no need for it. I’d rather use that for better things…like the pantry. I could use that space to expand the too-small-pantry and make that area all cabinets. Wouldn’t that be dreamy?!
Third – our kitchen table is too small. Right now it fits our family of six. But we got a baby girl that is gonna be needing her own zone in a blink of an eye. We need a bigger table and I was thinking of rotating it to make it fit. That would mean the light needs rotating too.
Numero four is working appliances. Right now we are in an appliance graveyard. The fridge we bought when we first moved in died about two years ago. We had had our issues with it from the get go (I should have said no when the biggest push by the sales guy was “it can fit a deli tray”….lesson learned) and then the compressor just up and died. Jeremy tried fixing it. We even called a repair man. Two months after it died, it came to life….on Christmas morning. LIKE A ZOMBIE. We thought it was a Christmas miracle….but it lasted only four days before dying again. Every six months or so, it will turn on, get cold for one day and then call it quits. So now we call it a zombie fridge and it basically just lives in the kitchen like a very fancy stainless steel cabinet.
We have a fridge in the basement and a tiny one in the garage but honestly, I think Jeremy would sell his left pinkie toe if it meant he could have ice in our kitchen again! So the idea is not just to replace the fridge but increase our fridge space. We need more fridge! So that is really important to us. Also, Jeremy (our resident fridge wiper-downer) wants one that doesn’t show fingerprints, which is why we chose two Maytag Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel refrigerators. The key was finding two fridges that would fit our space (it’s not big enough for two standard 36” side by side) so we found two narrower options with reversible doors. Here is the Maytag fridge we are loving!
Our oven recently started acting up….it won’t heat up sometimes….sometimes it just takes like an hour to preheat to 350. So that is what really motivated us to do this makeover. We simply can’t live without a fridge and an oven. We figured that if we switched the location of the oven with the location of the fridge, we could maybe fit two narrow fridges side by side. Then we would have increased our fridge space which is just gonna become more helpful as the kids get bigger. Once we decided to move the oven, we thought….well, geeewillywonka….we could legit have double ovens! Right now we have an oven/microwave combo….but we don’t love the microwave because it is so small so we have a different microwave on the countertop.
Are you still following this novel of crazy appliances?
Just checking 🙂
I think that the double oven will be a life changing experience….and maybe the kids will get used to having food that isn’t either burned on the bottom or on the top from Mommy jamming everything into the small single oven on multiple racks 🙂 And I admit that I love this suite simply because of the handles. Handles on appliances are everything….right after functionality! So once we decided on the fridges and ovens, we thought….well dang it, is anything else broken?!
Cue the dishwasher. We got our first dishwasher when we moved into this house and about four years in, it completely stopped cleaning stuff. We could not figure it out and Jeremy took that thing apart more times than I can count. So we replaced it. And within two weeks of having it installed, the kids promptly broke the new dishwasher. Jeremy rigged it so that it cleans….but it won’t stay in place and you can tell when you are across from it that the mount is broken. Grrrr.
And if that weren’t enough…our old stovetop that we bought on clearance (now we know why it was there for a fraction of the retail price) is super hard to clean and the burners take forever to turn on. We don’t know if it’s because they get dirty, or wet, or why exactly….but more often than not, we can hear the snapping of the starter and we can smell the gas but nothing will light. I have done the whole match thing….and singed arm hair more than once. 🙁
Those are our appliance woes. Everything is seeming to be dead or have one foot out the door. It’s super frustrating! You can imagine my brain is more excited about the idea of functionality than how it looks. I don’t need a tv in my fridge or my microwave to be wifi enabled….I just want the dang things to work! So that is the idea for the appliances.
The last tweak we want to make in our kitchen is the island. When we redesigned the island we put a shelving piece on the end but we never use it. We leave it empty because the kids or the dog constantly mess with the stuff there. So we want to nix that. Then we also want to nix the second mini sink in the island. The kids play with the faucet so much that we turned it off years ago and we would much rather have a plain island. That would mean a new countertop!
So all in all….the biggest change will definitely be that wall of cabinets and possibly the layout and then completely increasing the functionality. It will be EPIC. Like I might ENJOY cooking again when all that happens. And I popped all those ideas in this moodboard so you can get an idea of what we are going for.
What do you think? Do you have a wall of pantry cabinets? Or a double oven that you use all the time? Maybe there is a double fridge fan out there? I feel like in general, we are not changing the paint color or the general aesthetic of the kitchen….but we are saving its soul. Like a kitchen isn’t great unless it works right? And this will definitely make it work and work hard!
And I love my fridge solution. Having a bottom freezer times TWO means double the ice. So basically we are going from a completely ice-free diet to having ALL the ice we need. I mean….could this plan get any better?!